Best Books for Six Year Olds Who Want Some Fun

The absolute best books to get six year olds hooked on reading.

A whole new world opens up to children as they learn how to read. There is no skill more important than developing literacy—reading helps creativity, imagination, and language flourish. Books open new doors as reality takes a backseat.

Here are the top books for six year olds based on reviews and personal bias.

1. The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish is an international bestseller and modern classic. Eye-catching foilstamping may offer instant child-appeal, but it is the universal message at the heart of this simple story about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions that gives the book its lasting value.

Why it makes my list for six year olds: The unique foilstamping illustrations are eye-catching and fun. It’s beautiful and packed with nostalgia.

“I heard this book read aloud for the first time at summer camp. It is a beautiful story about the joy that comes from giving yourself to others.” Karen, Goodreads.

2. The Day the Crayons Quit

Duncan just wants to color, but when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters saying the same thing: We quit! Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from coloring water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking. What’s Duncan to do?

Why it makes my list for six year olds: You’ll never look at orange the same way again.

“I bought two copies for my godchildren, but I should have bought another one just for me. It’s that fun.” Amber, Goodreads.

3. The Easter Witch

After an unlucky witch accidentally eats the Easter Bunny, she must deliver the world’s chocolates, treats, and presents before it’s too late. Can Easter be saved with the help of some Halloween magic, or will the witch’s spells backfire and ruin the holiday?

  • Author: D. Melhoff
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.85
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: Combining Easter and Halloween is a 2-for-1 deal. You get the best parts of both holidays with a dose of dark humor and fun.

“This is such a clever book!!! It combines Halloween and Easter with such flair.” Tea Mayo, Amazon

4. James and the Giant Peach

When James drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. With a snip of the stem, the peach household starts rolling away—and the adventure begins.

  • Author: Roald Dahl
  • Goodreads Rating: 4
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: Every child should experience the whimsical ways of Roald Dahl. There are other Dahl books in the top 101, but there’s something about James that puts it near the top.

“Dahl transports us to wonderful worlds of adventure and peculiarity with characters every child would love to meet.” (Lou, Goodreads)

5. The Lorax

Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty. Like Dahl, many Seuss books made the top 101 list, but The Lorax is rated among the highest.

  • Author: Dr. Seuss
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.34
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: The Lorax is more important today than ever, and despite its grim message it gets its point across in fun Seussian fashion.

“The Lorax is not just a children’s book but so much more! Every family should have this as a staple in their home.” (Gilda, Amazon)

6. This is Not My Hat

When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be close behind. Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale.

  • Author: Jon Klassen
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.25
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: A fish in a hat? Fantastic. This book pairs words with unique illustrations to make a stunning impression.

The humorous visuals were perfectly placed. This is my favorite of Jon Klassen’s hat books. (Laura, Goodreads)

7. The Dark

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is not afraid of Laszlo. Laszlo lives in a house. The dark lives in the basement. One night, the dark comes upstairs to Laszlo’s room, and Laszlo goes down to the basement…

  • Author: Lemony Snicket
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.09
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: I was terrified of the dark as a child (sometimes still am), but this book makes it bearable. Also, Snicket and Klassen are a deadly combo.

“Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen were put on this Earth to make books together. Pure magic!” (Laura, Goodreads)

8. The Most Magnificent Thing

A girl decides she is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. The only problem? Making a magnificent thing is anything but easy.

  • Author: Ashley Spires
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.31
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: Both kids and adults can learn a thing or two about anger management from this book. Plus, the message is fantastic.

“What an amazing book with a beautiful, truly insightful message for young children!” (Marie, Goodreads)

9. The Book With No Pictures

A book with no pictures? What kind of book is this? Simple and ingeniously imaginative, The Book With No Pictures inspires laughter every time it’s opened, creating a warm and joyous experience and introducing children to the powerful idea that the written word can be an unending source of mischief and delight.

  • Author: B.J. Novak
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.36
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: Both kids and adults can learn a thing or two about anger management from this book. Plus, the message is fantastic.

“I did not think I would enjoy “The Book With No Pictures”, but it ended up being one of my favorite children’s books.” (Morris, Goodreads)

10. The Creatrilogy

The Creatrilogy is a collection of books that celebrate the power of original thinking. These stories include The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color—all three recommended for six year olds. You can get them bundled together or individually.

  • Author: Peter H. Reynolds
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.85
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: As a writer, I’m particularly drawn to stories about encouraging creativity. Ish does that in droves.

“It’s hard to find books that my son likes, I like, AND can be used in a classroom. This fits all the criteria!” (Sala, Amazon)

11. The Fate of Fausto

Coming September 2019, The Fate of Fausto is a quirky, cautionary tale from beloved New York Times bestselling picture book creator Oliver Jeffers. Fausto is a man who believes he owns everything and sets out to survey what is his.

  • Author: Oliver Jeffers
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.58
  • Preorder on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: Combining powerful prose with traditional lithographic printmaking for the first time, world-renowned Oliver Jeffers has surely created a poignant modern-day fable to touch the hearts of adults and children alike.  It’s the only book on the list that’s not out yet—make sure to preorder it.

“Boldly conceived and gracefully executed.” (Publishers Weekly)

12. Where the Wild Things Are

One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing’ and sends him to bed without supper. That night a forest grows in Max’s room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to where the Wild Things are…

  • Author: Maurice Sendak
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.22
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: You can’t make a list of books for six year olds without Where the Wild Things Are. Period.

“A timeless classic that continues to win over the hearts of children. The rhythmic text and expressive illustrations are just as appealing today as they were when I was a child.” (Brightly)

13. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn’t it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you’d have no choice. What if you didn’t like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake? Skip the movie and find out in the original tale.

  • Author: Judi Barrett
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.16
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: Cloudy is one of the books I remember vividly from first grade. Food in kids’ books is irresistible, and this one’s packed with it.

“This was my absolute favorite book as a child. The story line is unique & original does not “talk down” to a child’s level.” (A Modern Classic)

14. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If a hungry mouse shows up on your doorstep, you might want to give him a cookie. And if you give him a cookie, he’ll ask for a glass of milk. He’ll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache, and then he’ll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim. This book is a great first introduction to Mouse, the star of the If You Give… series and a perennial favorite among kids

  • Author: Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.25
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: I still find myself muttering “If you give a mouse a cookie…” around people who are never satisfied. Clearly the book makes a strong impression and has been a staple with youngsters for a long time.

“This was my absolute favorite book as a child. The story line is unique & original does not “talk down” to a child’s level.” (A Modern Classic)

15. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you’ve only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, and Here We Are explores what makes our planet tick and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes will be your guide.

  • Author: Oliver Jeffers
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.52
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: The second book on this list by Jeffers, it’s clear he knows how to tap into what children want and deliver it with informative entertainment.

“[Jeffers] is the master of capturing the joy in our differences.” (New York Times Book Review)

16. The Monster at the End of This Book

Generations of kids have interacted with lovable, furry old Grover as he begs the reader not to turn the page—for fear of a monster at the end of the book. “Oh, I am so embarrassed,” he says on the last page . . . for, of course, the monster is Grover himself!

  • Author: Jon Stone
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.44
  • Buy on: Amazon

Why it makes my list for six year olds: Many adults say this book is their all-time favorite—and for good reason. It’s a quick, colorful romp with a classic character.

“I think all parents should be required to read this book to their kids. It’s such a cute story.” (Jen, Amazon)

Download the rest of the list here

Get the 101 Books for Six-Year-Olds Checklist!

We couldn’t fit all 101 books for six year olds on one page, so we created a spreadsheet. Grab it now and start checking them off!

Get the full list!